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Identifying Architectural Styles in Miami- Art Deco

Ines Hegedus-Garcia
ines@miamism.com
Because of my architectural background, I like to give information about architectural styles to help you identify elements when purchasing and selling Miami Real Estate. Although Miami's Mediterranean Revival architecture is very popular, Miami does have the largest compilation of Art Deco Architecture worldwide, right here in The Historic Miami Beach Art Deco District. Hope you find this helpful and let me know if any of you would like to hear about other “styles”, and I promise that if I don’t know enough, I will not mind doing the research.  Also please keep in mind that I am truly simplifying and hope not to do injustice to the historical period represented.
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Modern Architects’ desire for a new language, together with the need to rebel against traditional architecture and excessive decoration, lead to the ART DECO movement, which not only is visible in architecture, but also fashion, art, graphics, furniture, transportation and even household items. The style is mainly characterized by simple, clean, geometric lines.  As Art Deco arrived in The United States, so did the images of sleek cars and trains.  Angular shapes like zig-zags, and lightning-bolts became popular. Visible in Miami Beach, buildings were streamlined to look like ocean liners and a clear nautical theme can be discerned. Some features to expect in Art Deco Architecture are:

  • flat roofs
  • combinations of flat and curved walls
  • use of glass block
  • circular windows
  • steel frames
  • vertical emphasis
  • rectangular framing
  • horizontal articulation like eyebrows over windows and doors
  • low relief ornamentation around door and window openings
  • metal windows
  • metal railings
  • stucco walls with some plaster ornamentation (stylized and abstracted floral motifs and sunrise patterns)
  • colored glazed bricks
  • mosaic tiles
  • and most of all SIMPLICITY!
 

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It's important to point out architecturally relevant elements when you are selling your home.  If you see any of the elements mentioned above, your property may have "Art Deco influences".  If there are other non-Deco elements in the property, don't be afraid to call the structure eclectic.  Mentioning elements and features, whether it is a beautiful Art Deco Mantle or an exterior ornamental plaster grill, may make the difference to a Miami real estate buyer.


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